Anyone who has been involved in a side-impact accident knows what a frightening experience it can be. Side-impact accidents, also known as T-bone collisions, or broadside collisions can be some of the most dangerous vehicle accidents. Even at a low-speed collision, the force may trap the driver or passenger in their car, increasing the risk of injury. Side-impact accidents often involve drivers with different versions of the accident, with each side blaming the other. This can make for a complicated insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
Causes of T-Bone Accidents
In most cases, a side-impact accident occurs at an intersection. This includes blind intersections, intersections with a 2-way stop, 4-way stop, traffic light controlled intersection, uncontrolled intersections when the power goes out, and drivers crossing highways. There are a number of reasons for broadside accidents, including dangerous road conditions, driver error, distracted driving, or vehicle malfunction.
Many T-bone accidents are caused by one driver running a red light, or failing to yield. When a driver is trying to make it through an intersection, but ends up running a red light, they may crash directly into the side of a car that was driving through on a red light. Other times, a driver may be texting, or otherwise distracted from traffic signals, and not notice the light is red until it is too late to stop. In these cases, the driver who did not have the right of way is generally at fault for causing the accident.
Bad weather can also increase the chance of a T-bone collision. When the roads are wet or icy, a driver may lose control of their vehicle when the wheels lose contact with the road, or their brakes lock up. This can cause them to slide right through a red light or stop sign, directly into cross traffic. In most cases, even though the road conditions contributed to the accident, the driver may still be at fault for not keeping their vehicle in safe operating order, or not giving themselves enough room to stop given the conditions.
In some side-impact collisions, neither driver is at fault for causing the accident. There are many vehicles that have defects or malfunctions that can cause an accident. This could include brake defects, unintended acceleration, or even seat recline mechanism malfunction. Anything that can cause the driver to lose control of their car, even for a second, can lead to a side-impact accident. In these situations, the car manufacturer may be liable for the injuries caused to all drivers and passengers involved in the accident.
Side-Impact Accident Injuries
In most rear-end and head-on collisions, much of the force of the collision will be absorbed by the rear or front of the vehicle. In a broadside collision, there may be very little protection between the oncoming vehicle and the side door of the driver. Alternatively, if the impact occurs on the passenger side of the vehicle, the driver may be somewhat more protected, but any passenger may bear the brunt of the injuries.
While many cars now have side-impact airbags, many more cars have driver-side or passenger-side airbags. Even a side-impact airbag may do little to protect the driver from crushing injuries of a serious side-impact accident. Many of these accidents cause the impacted vehicle to spin out of control, possibly striking other vehicles, or putting the vehicle into the path of other cars. Multiple vehicle accidents can be much more serious, resulting in multiple injuries.
Side-impact accidents often result in the driver or passenger getting trapped in the vehicle. The metal around the occupant can be crushed, pinning the injured individual in place. This can make their injuries much more serious depending on the amount of time they are trapped before they can be freed by first-responders.
T-bone accidents often result in head, face, and neck injuries, where the head is exposed to the side window, with little protection from an impact. They can also involve broken bones, spinal injuries, burns, crushing injuries, and even death. As with any serious accident, anyone injured should seek immediate medical attention, even if the injuries don't seem immediately obvious.
Maryland Side-Impact Accident Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured in a side-impact accident, the law firm of Gilman & Bedigian may be able to help. When dealing with serious injuries after an accident, you should not have to stress over fighting with the insurance company. Talk to an attorney about your claim so you can focus on recovery. Our attorneys have years of experience dealing with automobile accident cases throughout Maryland. We will fight for your rights to make sure you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.